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Auto Insurance Terms

Automobile insurance is one of those necessary expenses that you curse under your breath each month when you’re making a payment, then are grateful you have when you’re in an accident. No matter what type of claim or collision or who was responsible for it, shortly after filing it you will hear from an insurance adjuster from your insurance company or the company used by the other party involved in the accident so that they can determine how much damage has occurred and who was at fault.

Being an educated consumer is always important, but this is especially true when dealing with auto insurance companies. The adjuster may be friendly and seem helpful, but it is essential that you remember that they are in the business of representing the company that they work for and paying you as little as possible, so be cautious when speaking to them. In order to help understand what you are being asked, here are some of the most frequently-used terms that an adjuster may use. If you’ve submitted a claim, make sure you are familiar with each of these and their meaning, and if you believe that you need legal help, contact the Connecticut car accident attorneys at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers.

Commonly Used Motor Vehicle Insurance Terms

The following is a list of terminology commonly used by motor vehicle insurance providers. With the help of this glossary in addition to assistance from an experienced Connecticut car accident attorney, your chances of recovering fair compensation for your losses significantly increase.


When you purchased your liability coverage you selected specific liability limits. These applied to per-person bodily injury, bodily injury for everybody who might be injured in a single accident, and property damage. In most states there is a minimum liability amount that you must choose, and then you have the opportunity to purchase more coverage.

Automobile Liability Insurance:

This is a policy that provides you with protection in case you are deemed responsible for injuries or damage to property as a result of a car accident.

Bodily Injury Liability Insurance:

The component of automobile liability insurance that pays for bodily injuries to other people.

Collision Coverage:

A type of auto insurance that provides coverage when your vehicle is damaged as a result of a collision with another object or another type of hazard that causes damage to your vehicle. This coverage is only for your car, and does not provide insurance for what you hit.

Comprehensive Coverage:

This is non-collision related insurance for damage to your car, or if your car is stolen. This coverage includes damage such as broken windows or windshields, damage from fire or weather, vandalism, damage from an animal, falling objects or the like.

Declarations Page:

This is the first page of your insurance policy, and contains all of the pertinent information about you and what is covered, as well as the amount of coverage and the duration of the policy. It also contains premium information.


This is the amount that your policy makes you pay out of pocket – everything over the deductible is what the insurance company pays. The higher the deductible you choose, the lower your insurance premium.

Economic Benefits:

These are the out-of-pocket expenses that your insurance may provide. It can include medical and rehabilitation expenses, as well as the costs of essential services and lost wages.

Financial Responsibility Law:

The law that requires that you carry auto insurance in order to pay for losses to others that result from the operation of a motor vehicle and that are your fault.

Medical Payments Coverage:

Insurance policy that pays doctors, hospitals and funeral expenses for you and/or passengers in your car up to the limits of the policy. Coverage is not dependent upon fault.

Monetary Threshold:

In states that have “no-fault” laws, the monetary threshold is the monetary figure that medical and rehab expenses must reach in order for a lawsuit for non-economic damages (such as pain and suffering) to be filed.

Property Damage Liability:

Insurance that covers damage done to someone else’s property by your vehicle. This is most frequently another vehicle, but can be a building, a lawn, a fence, etc.


The cost of your insurance.

Third Party:

A third party is someone other than the policyholder, their family members, or the insurance company.


The monetary point after which an injured person can file a lawsuit to recover damages for bodily injury from the person responsible for the accident.


An act that causes damage or injury that a civil lawsuit can be based upon.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage:

Insurance that provides coverage for the driver or passengers in cases when the at-fault driver is either uninsured or underinsured. It also covers expenses incurred in a  hit-and-run accident.

Need Help? Contact Our Attorneys Today

Here at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers, our attorneys have over 140 years of combined legal experience, and the knowledge to help you with your auto accident lawsuit. We are aware of the tricks and tactics that insurance companies will try to use on innocent injury victims, and can help to guide you safely through the personal injury litigation process.

With offices in New Haven, Bridgeport and Hartford, we service many cities throughout Connecticut, and are licensed to practice law across the entire state.

To find out more, please contact us at 1-800-PERKINS (outside of Connecticut, call 203-397-1283,) and a member from our intake team will quickly collect some details about your incident, and the connect you to one of our attorneys – it’s that easy!

If you would like to start immediately, simply fill out the “Free Case Review” form at the top of this page – it’s strictly confidential and 100% free.



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